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Thursday, December 18, 2008
AOL Launches New Version of Web Mail


AOL launched an updated beta version of AOL Web Mail, http://beta.webmail.aol.com, offering users one-click access to Gmail and Yahoo! Mail accounts, customization capabilities and over-the-air mobile sync of AOL Calendar and Address Book.

The new AOL Mail Web Suite also includes a gallery of plug-ins and applications offering immediate access to favorite sites and content. In addition, a new set of APIs will also be made available to third party developers and advertisers interested in creating special themes and plug-ins for the site.

"With this release, we?re offering consumers something they can?t get from any other e-mail provider, including easy access to third-party e-mail and content, mobile sync, and full integration with AIM, delivering relevant mail, messaging and content to users all in one place," said Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President, AOL Products and Marketing.

AOL Web Mail?s new plug-in gallery will offer more than 30 plug-ins and gadgets, including four plug-ins showcasing AOL's use of Google?s open standard for container development. Users can place an unlimited number of plug-ins on a customizable toolbar on the right-hand side of the page, providing easy access to AIM, popular websites third-party e-mail accounts, stock updates, weather and more. In addition, users can choose from more than 45 new "skins" or themes to personalize the Web Mail page.

For now, third-party developers can sign-up on http://dev.aol.com/mail for more information on creating plug-ins.

The newest version of AOL Web Mail also includes over-the-air mobile sync of AOL Calendar and Address Book, allowing users to make real-time updates to both applications from a variety of wireless devices including the BlackBerry and iPhone. In addition, this version of the product includes true iCal support, giving users the opportunity to create a calendar or subscribe to an existing one from a third-party provider.

Users who wish to access this updated version of Web Mail can go to http://beta.webmail.aol.com, and use it with an existing AOL or AIM e-mail account, or using an e-mail address created through http://www.tunome.com, which offers over 150 custom domains. The product will be available for general release in January.


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